DISCOVER Magazine #7

Damen Fast Ferry a lifeline to Cape Verdeans

Published in category: Public Transport

Damen is very proud to have taken part in a unique project recently in Cape Verde, where a Damen Fast Ferry literally represents a lifeline to islanders.

The introduction of the much-anticipated Damen Fast Ferry 4512 to Cape Verde has proved a huge success, with very high occupancy rates. And after the success of the “Kriola” – which is also the first-ever newbuild ferry for the nine-island state – the owner Cape Verde Fast Ferry, will welcome a second sister vessel shortly.

Henk Grunstra, Damen Product Director Fast Ferries, says: “For the first time the islanders have a new ferry, providing a safe, regular service which they can rely on. The Kriola has really improved the transport infrastructure, stimulating travel between the islands and made an important contribution to the country’s economy. He adds: “The new ferry provides passengers with a very smooth ride, they have spacious accommodation, comfortable seating, large television screens and a well-stocked kiosk.”


Kriola can achieve speeds in excess of 19 knots but is also fuel-efficient. Built at Damen Shipyards Singapore, a yard known for quality aluminium vessels, the ferry can accommodate 158 passengers and 65 tonnes of cargo. The vessel has very low noise levels and extensive safety equipment, all complying with the latest international standards. The bridge has modern navigation equipment, ensuring efficient and safe navigation.

Cape Verdean waves

Situated in the middle of the Atlantic, Cape Verde has always been somewhat isolated and this is particularly the case for the outlying island of Brava. Before the introduction of the Kriola, a service could only be carried out on an ad-hoc basis because the waters are subject to many currents, substantial wave heights and windy conditions.

Waves often impact from the rear or at an angle, they are seldom head-on and the ocean is very deep, so typically there are 2 m to 3 m wave heights. Trade winds and currents between the islands were other factors that needed to be considered.

Comfort levels, fuel consumption and operational costs, were all major factors in the decision to choose a Damen Fast Ferry 4512. The vessel also appealed because it offered a very fast turnaround in port. Sometimes Kriola has to be able to serve four islands in a day, before travelling back to its home-port in Brava for the night.


Damen Services supported Cape Verde by providing training for the crew, who have proved very capable seamen, as well as providing technical backup for the engineers. In addition, Damen carried out the commissioning of the vessel and provided a spare parts package.

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